AM 2012 (Reloaded) "Athlon" Season Preview

Discussion in 'After Midnight' started by Jayrah, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Jayrah

    Jayrah AllCougdUp.com Editor - A.M. avatar Guru

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    One really nice thing about a 12 hr advance offseason is kind of reflect on the previous season and really get to know our teams a little (if we take the time) to load up for the upcoming season. I know for me personally it gives me a chance to do something I love doing, which is to take time for a real season preview of my team. If you want, please preview your 2012 team here in the Athlon Season Preview.
     
  2. Jayrah

    Jayrah AllCougdUp.com Editor - A.M. avatar Guru

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    2012 Northwestern Wildcats
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    The 2012 'Cats are going to be young, in fact some might say "too young" to be competitive. Losing 19 Srs and a transfer player are going to set the Northwestern progression back but they still have a shot at a bowl game if they can win all of the winnable games that are sure to be on their schedule. It likely won't be as easy as last year on paper, and the "easiest" teams gave the 'Cats a heckuva time throughout the season, so who knows how far NU could dip in 2012, meaning realistically a 6-6 record and another Bowl berth would be somewhat of a major accomplishment by this Jayrah coached team. The position by position will have a positive spin here, but overall the team probably loses a grade level before we can build it back up with some tough recruiting.

    Offense:
    Northwestern will sport a new look this season on "O", as Star qb Dan Persa is graduating, along with 3 of the top 4 wrs (including Ebert and Brown who were all Big Ten selections) and the better half of the O-line. It figures to be a bit of a challenge to go up and down the field with the same big play proficiency as 2011, but the offense is built to move the ball in small chunks anyways.

    Qb: With Persa graduating, this would figure to be the biggest dropoff, but Jr qb Evan Watkins got some experience in the middle of the season and is set for what will hopefully be a big offseason progression. He's got the size at 6'6, 245, good arm strength and decent accuracy, and seems to be the clear cut #1 out of the 3 returners. However incoming freshmen Greg Brewer (6'5, 198 out of NJ) and Taurean Mueller (6'4, 215 also out of NJ) are set to press for the starting spot. If not they have a bright future at this position for Northwestern.

    Rb: Running back is the most secure starting position for the Wildcat offense going into 2012, as Jr returning starter Mike Trumpy heads up the group, after a decent 697 yard, 10 TD campaign in 2011. However the backups are going to be completely unknown as the 2nd and 3rd string from last season are both gone. Sr Jordan Perkins and Rs Fr Treyyon Green are on the roster, but don't figure to be good enough to press for any playing time because Coach Jay loaded up with the #27 and #31 ranked rbs by ESPN. Both Chris Rogers (6'0, 215 out of TX) and Matt Simpson (6'1, 199 out of CA) are loaded with potential and the coaches are eager to see which of the 2, if not both, will emerge as a viable backup to Trumpy.

    Wr: Wideouts are going to be thin in regard to experience, but decent size and speed are coming back, and really good size and speed are coming in. Returners include Fields (6'0, 205) and Lawrence (6-2, 215), who saw the field a decent amount last season in the 4 and 5 wide sets and are more possession receivers, and also Jr Tony Jones (6'1, 175), who is a burner. Incoming are the #28 Ath (Pat Brown) and #47 (Larry Smith) and #66 (Josh Hawkins) wrs, possibly soon to be joined by yet another top 80 Wr. The trio bring more 6'0+ size, and Brown brings an explosive first step and great speed.

    O-line: The #9 C (Joey Henry at 6'3, 292 out of IL) and #20 T (Trey O'Conner at 6'4, 303 out of IL) are probably going to push for immediate playing time, as the whole left side of the line graduated and the right side had major issues last season. There is some decent 80+ rated talent but this group is very thin on decently talented bodies.

    Defense: The defense lost some key players, but will not be nearly as different in talent and names from last year to this as the offense.

    D-backfield: Starting FS Jared Carpenter brings both experience and toughness to the field for NU, after deciding briefly to test the NFL market he has returned to lead up the back 4. Carpenter led the team in tackles with 61 and collected 4 ints. He will be joined by the only other returning starter Demetruis Dugar who brings speed to the Cb spot but seemed to really struggle with the size that was thrown his way last season as the #2. SS Hunter Bates got quite a few snaps as a nickel back last season and brings both speed and quickness to the position but lacks the size at 5'11, 180 of incoming Fr Paul Manson, who stacks up at 6'1, 205. The other Cb spot was thought to be the major weakness but a late surprise signing of #23 Ath Deandre Allen (6'2, 181 out of IL) allows NU DB coaches to sleep at night. Allen possesses the size and speed to easily be the #2 this season and a good starting cb in the B1G in the following years.

    Lbs: The LB corps is simply not very good coming into the season. Sr David Nwabuisi returns at MLB with 38 tackles and 3 ints from last season. The outside lbs are probably going to be incoming Fr Rich Morris (6'5, 224 out of MI) who was a key find for the Wildcats this year and returning Jr Tim Riley. At 6'3, 220 Riley had a decent year as a sophomore, recording 43 tkl, 7 sacks, 1 int, 4 FF and 2 FR, however he is far from a premiere athlete and is probably an overall detriment to the team defensively.

    D-line: The DL has so far gotten no help from recruiting but the coaches are still looking at some bodies to help out. The DE's are weak and the DT position is even weaker going into 2012 and ideally 3-4 would fit the talent level, except the LB situation leaves no room to do that.

    Spec Team: Budzien and Williams return as Jr K/P but all everything wr/returner Ebert and his KO return mate Mabin are gone. Some speed to work with so we'll be ok here. Particularly Jones at Wr will bring some spd to the table.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
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  3. Kapono

    Kapono Walk On

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    2012 Oklahoma State Cowboys

    OSU ended their 2011 season on a high note, sneaking into the National Championship Game and winning it 54-28. They had the #1 offense in the country and possibly the best offensive player in the country in Justin Blackmon who had 29 TD receptions. The 26-year old Weeded also had a huge season, leading the nation in TD passes, but those 2 players are gone, and Oklahoma State is going to be a much different team in 2012. That doesn't mean there isn't optimism heading into next year, as the defense is expected to be much improved.

    Quarterback
    Clint Chelf saw a lot of time in 2011 as Weeden's backup, and it wasn't just in garbage time. Chelf was a huge part of the win over top ranked Texas Tech and even played a role in the National Championship game. Unlike Weeden, Chelf is a dual-threat QB. He has a very good arm and great acceleration, which leads some to beleive he will be better than Brandon Weeden next year in his junior season. If Chelf stays healthy, he may lead OSU to its 2nd consecutive Big XII Title

    Running Backs
    Junior Joseph Randle is back and ready to build on his 918 rushing yards in 2011. Randle may need to adjust to a more option oriented offense with Clint Chelf but he will probably get to touch the ball more next year because of it. He is a very balanced back who can catch passes out of the backfield but coaches would like for him to improve his blocking in some passing situations. Jeremy SMith is back as the 2nd stringer and brings a lot of speed to the table, but expect Randle to get almost all of the carries.

    Wide Receivers
    Oklahoma State took a huge hit at wide receiver with all their top receivers graduating or going to the NFL draft. The top returning receiver is Isaiah Anderson, who only had 409 yards last year. Not much is known about the next guys, but you may see some true freshman starting for OK State next season. John Horton is back at tight end. He only had 2 TDs last year, but is expected to be on the field more in 2012.

    Offensive Line
    The O-Line will be huge for next year's success. All the expected starters are in the mid 80's to high 70s range and should get better in the offseason. OSU may get a freshman in the starting lineup, but these lineman look decent. Not the greatest unit, but they should be able to get Chelf some time to get the ball to his inexperienced receivers.

    Defensive Line
    The D-Line wasn't good last year, and it won't be too good yet again. DT Nigel Nicholas had a huge year last year, but what user DT didn't have a great year? They may need to load the box a lot this year just like last season to stop the run.

    Linebackers
    OLB Shawn Lewis is fast as hell and is probably the best defender for the Cowboys, but MLB Caleb Lavey is back ready to try and improve on his amazing 2011 season. There doesn't seem to be much about Lavey physically but his smarts get him in the right place at the right time. Lavey had over 130 tackles, 6 sacks, 6 INTs, and 4 FF's in 2011, so it'll be fun to see if he can do it again.

    Defensive Backs
    The corners are the strength of the OSU defense without a doubt. Brodrick Brown is a superstar and a great cover guy, who could shut down almost any receiver in the country. Devin hedgepath is also a good corner and should be good enough to handle the #2 receivers of the Big XII. The Cowboys need improvement this offseason on the safeties though, but they should be ready to go next year.

    Overview
    Oklahoma State lost a lot after its title run. The defense will again be nothing special so they'll need to rely on a lot of offense. And that won't be easy without any wide receivers. The season may hinge on how well QB Clint Chelf can run the ball. OSU would love to let Chelf pass 40 times a game, but they'll need to use his legs along with Joseph Randle. The team will be more balanced in 2012 in terms of play selection, but they will stay in the shotgun 95% of the time. A new playbook will be needed with this different team.
     
  4. Wyrmreaver

    Wyrmreaver Ready for Madden 15 on Xbox One, lets get it on!

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    2011 Season Review: Sparty had a magical run last season with multiple wins over top teams and come from behind wins, including an epic last 90 seconds against Minnesota. Despite an early stumble to Baylor and RGIII, MSU played their way into a national title shot where they just couldn't keep up with Oklahoma State's speed and skill on the outside. Edwin Baker had a memorable Junior campaign, the star HB won the Heisman and Doak Walker awards and put 199 yards on OK State on the biggest stage in CFB. Baker has moved on along with a core of Senior players, leaving the offense with far more questions than answers. After a 12-2 finish and #5 in the final polls, the team was awarded their 5th star which should boost an already solid recruiting base.

    A LOOK AHEAD

    Offense: The Spartans return no starters at the offensive skill positions. The Offensive line will be a solid group, but young players and first time starters will have to step up if this team will compete. Unless anything changes in spring ball or fall practices, expect to see more of the same from this offense next season. They should rely heavily on the running game to grind out yards, turning to occasional play action passes to keep defenses off balance and guessing.

    Possible Breakout Player: Dion Sims, TE. Sims has a unique blend of monstrous size and elite speed, if he can play close to his potential he will really take the pressure off of the new starter at QB and the running game. Look for Dion to have a fantastic season and become Maxwell's favorite target in the passing game.

    QB - Junior Andrew Maxwell will almost certainly be the day 1 starter. Maxwell looked good in spots last season but will be asked to do a lot more this season. Maxwell boasts only average arm strength and accuracy so his decision making will have to be top notch if he is to have any real success in the passing game.

    HB/FB - LeVeon Bell and Larry Caper look to compete for and perhaps share carries next season. At 230+ and 220+ respectively, these two power backs should be able to wear down opposing defenses. Neither guy has nearly the big play ability that Baker had last season, but despite their lack of carries last season, Coach Wyrmreaver seems confident that they can be effective. Also Potentially in the mix is 5* ATH Phillip Franklin. Many thought Franklin would play WR but with the only 3 HBs on the roster after an early departure and a transfer, the kid will get a long look in the backfield. At FB, Niko Palazeti, a blocking specialist, will start after a year on the bench. Incoming Freshman Willie Gonzales is certainly a more effective runner, but expect Palazeti to get the starting spot for this team's power rushing attack.

    WR/TE - The returning wide receivers on this team have gained a combined 61 yards of receiving yards. Junior Ben Fowler was the #4 or #5 WR all of last year and is likely to start but may not be the #1 target. 6'4" JUCO transfer Keith Carroll is almost certain to start and his big frame and solid hands could make him Maxwells favorite target on the outside. Incoming freshman Clifton Fenner has the speed to stretch the D but could be buried in the depth chart or see a redshirt. The list may not yet be complete as the Spartans could still sign one more WR prospect this offseason and 5* ATH Phillip Franklin may end up out wide, it should be interesting to see how this receiving corps shakes out. TE is a big question mark with the departure of Linthicum to the NFL. Expect sophomore Dion Sims to step up. Sims redshirted last season, but this 6'5" 277lb kid is a nightmare of a matchup problem with his sub 4.5 speed.

    O-Line - This group returns 6 players rated at 80 or higher overall last season and should be solid across the board. After those six there are some depth concerns which will have to be addressed in recruiting, but assuming they stay healthy, this is the strength of the offense.

    Defense: This group could have been a gaping hole if some of these players had chosen to go pro, instead, this group should be pretty darn good, especially in the front seven. The loss of All American Safety Robinson is a huge blow and the secondary which was a question mark last season could again be a liability. Look for the base front 7 to be stout against the run. Hopefully they can generate pressure quickly to hide the weakness of the secondary.

    Possible Breakout Player: Joey Fitzpatrick, Safety. A JUCO defensive player of the year finalist last season, Fitzpatrick will be asked to step into a starting role right away. If he can adjust quickly to the Big Ten competition level and keep the safeties from being a huge weakness, Sparty's defense has a chance to be special.

    D-Line - Jerel Worthy is a mammoth in the middle. The 305 lb senior had 14 sacks last season and nearly went pro, instead he'll spend another year blowing up Big Ten backfields and keeping offensive coordinators up late at night. Fellow starters Gholston and Hoover at the ends are also back having combined for 14 sacks off the edges. In addition, Sparty has nice depth across the line in case of injury or fatigue. This group combined with the LB corps should make it tough to effectively run the ball against the Spartan's base look.

    LB Corps - All four starters from last season's 3-4 look return, led by Junior MLB Max Bullough who had a monster Sophomore season with 24 TFL, 13 sacks, and 2 INTs. Gardiner and Norman on the outside combined for another 11 sacks and 3 INTs for this group. These LBs will be disruptive and it should be hard for opposing teams to pin down exactly where the pressure and coverage will be coming from.

    Corners - Johnny Adams had 6 INTs a year ago and almost entered the draft. He was solid last season and has the potential to be a shutdown type corner this year as a senior. Also returning are the #2 and #3 CBs from last season, Dennard and White who should both be improved and more effective matched up on the outside. JUCO transfer George Harwell has blistering speed and will either end up as the dime corner or as a redshirt.

    Safeties - Robinson leaves a huge hole in the deep middle. JUCO player Joey Fitzpatrick has excellent size at 6'2" 202lb and is likely to move from SS to FS and play right away. SS duties will fall once again to Jarius Jones who had a nice season last year in part because Robinson was so effective at FS. This year, Jones will have to step up for Sparty. If they can't figure out the Safety situation it could be a long year trying to stop the spread in East Lansing.
     
  5. MexiRican35

    MexiRican35 ┬┐Te quieres naranjas?

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    2012 Kansas St Wildcats
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    It's Klein Time
    QB: Klein comes in for his senior year with a new slogan and a good chance to boost his draft status. The 6-5 226 lbs is a load coming out of the backfield. He threw for 2298 yards and 22 TDs. He needs to cut down on the interceptions, and the line needs to block better for him.​
    HB: Brown comes back from a season ending injury last year and looks to be the most athletic player on the team. He has good speed and great quickness. Splitting the carries with him will be the JUCO soph Townsend. He comes in with A- SPD and B ELU and will get carries right away. Robinson and Hubert were good in their roles last season and still look to fill in some.​
    WR: Harper will be the #1 guy. The battle will be at #2. Thompson is only 5-7 and 165 and looks like a better option at the slot. The play of #3 Smith from last season has made coaches think that he can be the #2 guy fulltime.​
    TE: Tannahill has been working throughout the offseason to work on his catching. He had 7 drops which didn't sit well with the staff. While he still looks to start, look for true freshman Pierce to get some throws to in a 2 TE set.​
    OL: The line was dominated by some teams in the run game (Florida, Texas, TCU) and were below average in pass blocking. The line has been hitting the wights hard to build up strength to handle the more athletic D lines they will face. How well they play will greatly determine how well the team will do.​
    DL: The best player from the 2011 class is DE Jones. He'll come in as a pass rusher and could play entire games against spread teams in the Big XII. A shift to the 4-3 will be made as there is no dominant DT on the roster.​
    LB: Brown will be the star on defense. He can fly around the field and looks to be a disturbance in the backfield. In the 3-4 last year, Walker played in every game being the #2 MLB. With the graduation of Lamur (7 INT), he will have the experience needed to be the leader on D.​
    DB: 4 seniors will head the corner position, along with 2 JUCOs who might get in some time. All of them are highly talented, which will be needed in conference play. But their lack of experience will hurt. They'll need some time to work together and gel. Zimmerman will be the man at FS, and Fields looks to move over to SS for immediate PT.​
    Expectations: 28, yes 28 seniors are on the roster. While Coach Mexi will be hard at work recruiting, this looks to be the best chance for the Wildcats to make a run at the Big XII championship. There is a good mix of leadership and youth, with the help of JUCOs coming in. If Klein can get some protection from the line, he will be deadly on the ground and air. The defense was killed by the big plays given up by the secondary. If they cut down on that, and pick off as many passes as they did last year, they can handle the passing attacks. The Wildcats were the only team to beat last year's national champs. Against superior talented teams, though, they faltered and withered. Changes haven been made to the playbooks to counter this. While it wont be easy, a Big XII title is doable.​
     
  6. Boom29

    Boom29 Walk On

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    The Purdue Boilermakers enter 2012 fresh off a surprising 8-5 campaign in Coach Akai's first season at the helm. The second year promises to be tougher as the Boilermakers will break in starters at several key positions, not to mention a much tougher schedule.

    Offense
    Look for Purdue to continue to display a balanced, ball-control attack while relying on All-American, Heisman hopeful HB Ralph Bolden.

    QBs - The Boilermakers will start RS JR Rob Henry following the departure of Robert Marve. While Henry lacks experience, he has great athleticism (83/86/84) and a good arm (82/76).

    RBs- The tailback position is the strength of the Purdue offense. Look for Ralph Bolden to carry the load early and often for the Boilermakers while the rest of the offense settles down behind Henry. Senior Akeen Shavers, a quality back in his own right, will provide Bolden with the necessary rest. However, it is imperative that Purdue keep Bolden and Shavers healthy as there is little quality depth behind the two. Due to the lack of quality players at the FB position, look for Purdue to utilize both Bolden and Shavers at the same time.

    WRs - Look for Senior Antavian Edison to be Henry's primary target after his breakout season the previous year. Joining Edison will be OJ Ross, who displayed a great ability to get open, but dropped too many balls. RS JR Gary Bush has been tabbed as the breakout star of the group as the coaches have been raving about his play during Spring football.

    TEs - The Boilermakers have depth at the tight end position and plan to use it, in part, to overcome the lack of a true fullback on the roster. Gabe Holmes should continue to be the primary target in the middle for the Boilermakers.

    OL - The Purdue offense will sink or swim depending on the play of the O-Line. Though it will be difficult to replace multiple NFL draft picks, there is enough experience and quality remaining for the unit to be equally as effective. Despite the OL being a targeted area during recruiting, there is still a noticeable lack of depth.

    Defense
    If the offense was said to sink or swim with the O-line, the Purdue season will sink or swim with the play of its defense. Though All-American MLB Dwayne Beckford returns to West Lafayette, he will need plenty of help in order for the defense to be effective.

    DL - Purdue returns DT Kawann Short and LE Robert Maci, both who had great season in 2011. Yet, the RE position will be a weakness as no player has shown to be ready to step into the role. Look for RS SO Rashad Frazier to get the first opportunity as a starter due to his above average athleticism (79/77/77).

    LBs - Even with the return of Beckford, the Purdue linebacking corps may be on shaky ground as it breaks in three new starters. Though athletic, the lack of game experience will likely lead to struggles in the early season and big plays for the opposing offense.

    DBs - The Boilermakers feature a pair of solid corners in SR Josh Johnson and JR Ricardo Allen. However, the lack of depth at the important position is alarming, which has caused Coach Akai to start his backup FS as his third cornerback. The Safety positions don't fare much better as both positions feature players that will be making their debut.

    Special Teams
    The Boilermakers should be solid in the kicking game as JR Cody Webster will likely fill both Kicking and Punting positions after just Punting the previous year. An emphasis will be placed on kick coverage.

    Purdue will have a successful season if...
    ...they are able to duplicate their 8-5 record from the previous year and are able to continue improving on the recruiting trail
     

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